Should you include an objective on your resume?

Resume objectives—waste of space or valuable opportunity to stand out from the crowd?

Should you include an objective on your resume?

The structure, purpose, and language used in resumes have largely remained the same over the years, with one notable exception: the resume objective. This juicy tidbit of information is increasingly seen as an obsolete and unnecessary detail, being replaced instead by the career summary. Applicants don't especially enjoy writing objectives and hiring managers don't always have time to read them, so why does a resume need an objective? Just cut it out, right? Not so fast, friend. An objective sometimes helps and sometimes hinders your job search, so knowing when or even if to include one gets a bit tricky.

Consider it on a case-by-case basis

The best thing you can do is consider each job as it comes. You know how important it is to tailor your resume to each job you apply for, right? As you tweak it for each position, think about the job itself, the company, and what you hope to achieve. Sometimes it comes down to a gut feeling. Do you believe you can sell yourself more if you include an objective? Always trust your instincts.

Is the position goal-oriented?

For the most part, goal-driven positions always benefit from a resume objective. Say you're applying as an entry-level accountant, but you hope to move up the ladder within the company. Letting the hiring manager know you want to pay your dues and then grow as an accountant within his or her organization definitely doesn't hurt.

Do you have any objectives?

How do you feel about the jobs you're applying for, honestly? Are you simply looking for work because you badly need employment? There's no shame in that, but you probably don't want to write an objective if you're just waiting until something better comes along. That won't get you hired.

What if you're desperate for a job, though? Does your resume need an objective? Maybe. The market is tight, so if you're eager for a position and know how to sell yourself, you can use your resume objective to stand out from the rest of the applicant pool. Remember, since objectives aren't required now, most people skip them. If you have the only objective in a sea of resumes, it just might help.

If you find yourself asking, "Should I use an objective on my resume?" the answer is a firm, resolute "maybe." It depends solely on the job itself, the goals and objectives you hope to fulfil in the position, and your ability to craft a resume objective.